‘Next Day’ by Randall Jarrell is a confessional poem with a conversational tone that articulates the complex emotions of aging and change.
This poem's focus on emotions, avoidance, change, and perception put a unique spin on the themes of old age and death. Instead of blandly looking at the latter stages in the speaker's life from a 3rd-person perspective, the speaker's emotions take center-stage as she sees evidence of her own old age in everything she does.
Moving from Cheer to Joy, from Joy to All,
I take a box
And add it to my wild rice, my Cornish game hens.
‘Twas the old — road — through pain—’ by Emily Dickinson describes a woman’s path from life to death and her entrance into Heaven.
The woman arrives in her later years at the end of the poem. Old age, like death, is unavoidable.
‘I heard a Fly Buzz – when I died’ by Emily Dickinson is an unforgettable depiction of the moments before death. The speaker emphasizes the stillness of the room and the movements of a single fly.
The speaker has lived her life and is now, likely, in her old age nearing death.
‘The Portrait’ by Stanley Kunitz is a sad poem about the speaker’s ill-fated attempt to learn more about their deceased father.
The speaker's age and the passage of time are central to the poem's themes. The memory of his father's suicide still burns on his cheek after all these years.
‘Somebody’s Mother’ by Mary Dow Brine is a heartbreaking and heartwarming poem about caring for strangers.
Old age is another very important topic in this poem. The poet refers multiple times to the woman's age and the struggles she had to face on a day-to-day basis. The poet's use of words like "bent" and "poor" help indicate what she looked like when she was trying to cross the street.
‘Dear Basketball’ by Kobe Bryant depicts the poet’s love for the sport. He expresses his appreciation for basketball and how it made him into the person he became.
One of the main reasons that Bryant retired was his age and the possibility, or lack thereof, of his future career. He chose to end his career there and remember his basketball career in the best way possible.